The White Sisters

I’ve been having so much fun helping Rachel get her blog up and running the past few weeks. For those of you who missed it, she is my aunt… but she’s only a few months older than I am… so we grew up “together”. Yesterday when we were visiting on the phone we were laughing about some of the silly things we used to do as kids. Good memories! I was telling her that I had participated in NaNoWriMo in November, but instead of writing an actual novel I wrote my memoirs. No, I didn’t make it to 50,000 words… but I did get to about 35,000 which I thought was pretty good for my first attempt at anything close to book length. I haven’t done anything with it yet… not sure that ever will beyond sharing it with my kids, but I thought I’d share this one little snippet with my blog readers… This is especially for Rachel, Dori, and Naomi, and my parents. Enjoy!

One time, when I was about 7 or 8, Rachel and we girls played a funny game of Let’s Pretend. It wasn’t funny to us then… just fun! …but as I got older and remembered the incident I had to laugh.

We were The White Sisters! This was an actual trio of sisters (with beautiful voices and close harmony) who had made some records in the 1950s or maybe early 1960’s. There were 2 or 3 of their records at Grandmother’s house and we were fascinated to read on the record jacket that their names were Joyce and Fay and I don’t remember what the other sister’s name was. Janet, maybe. But two of them were twins and the other was their older sister, just like us! So we were pretending to be The White Sisters… but with Rachel, there were four of us, so we decided Rachel could be the mother and she could play the accordion for us.

Because, of course, you couldn’t have special music without an accordion!

We believed this to be so because our church worshiped in the local old-country-school-house-turned-community building. Granddaddy had started the church just a few years earlier and the congregation would not have their own building for another 10 or 12 years. The community building did not boast of a piano or organ, so our next oldest aunt–who was in high school at the time–played an accordion to accompany any singing, both congregational and special songs.

So. Rachel began to look around in the yard for something that could serve as her accordion in our debut as The White Sisters. Yes. The Jolly Rocker was the very thing! It was a teeter-totter made of metal tubes formed into a rocker shape with a plastic seat and a handle-bar at both ends. Rachel picked it up and held it against her chest, with the curved side of the rocker out and swayed back-and-forth with it as we sang.

I’m sure we made beautiful music.

P.S. Imagine my surprise to discover that The White Sisters are still around and they have their own website! You can even still buy their music! Also, my dad now pastors the church Granddaddy started all those years ago. The congregation has a beautiful building now. You can see a picture of it on my dad’s blog.


  • pse

    Oh, Karla, thanks for sharing! I hadn’t known about the “mother needing to play the accordian”. I can still “see” that teeter totter and what an accordian it would make. What fun. I think I will get one of those records out and play it as I clean today.

  • dad

    I am wondering if you White Sisters could come back to the ols church this fall for the 40th year celerbration ?
    I didn’t know ya’ll were still around.

  • Toots

    I LOVED “The White Sisters” when I was a young girl! I found their record at our local library and checked it out again and again!
    Thanks so much for sharing your memoir and reviving my own memory!

  • Hope

    Hi Rhonda,
    Now how fun would that be…a White Sisters reunion at your Dad’s church!! 🙂 I just went to his blog and kinda got lost there reading. Smart man, your Dad! I’m going back later and read more!

    Thanks for sharing that memory.


  • nfhays

    As one of the sisters priviledged to play a sister (since my middle name is Fay, I ALWAYS got to be Faye – no questions asked, it was just a given!)these are the most incredible memories! I still think of their music often and the fun we had. I also remember Rachel’s “pet” horny toad – she had a string tied around it’s leg for awhile as a leash! Thanks, Karla, for a great trip down memory lane!

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